How Kate Spade Created An AR Experience To Promote Its Paris Flagship

Users who engage with the 'Joy Walks' experience via Tapage's My Little Paris app can take an interactive journey through Paris — and then receive a reward when they arrive at the brand's new store.

To promote the launch of its first Parisian flagship, Kate Spade New York has debuted its “Joy Walks” AR experience for consumers aimed at blending fashion, tech, and media — a move that appears designed to both drive engagement with the new physical location and double down on Kate Spade’s commitment to the “store of the future” concept.

Here’s how it works: When users download Tapage’s My Little Paris app (a Parisian discovery entity), they can visit ten “secret” locations in Paris through an interactive map. Along the so-called “Joy Walk” users have three well known fashion and lifestyle influencers acting as personal tour guides, revealing their favorite spots in the city. And as the map is physically followed, users will see these real world Parisian locations “through the Kate Spade lens,” with visuals such as flamingoes standing in the Seine and a New York City cab driving down a Parisian street.

Finally, when users arrive at the newly opened boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré, they are rewarded with a specially made set of branded pins — giving the playful AR experience a tie-in to driving foot traffic to an actual physical location.

In order to engage today’s increasingly connected consumers, “we wanted to create an experience above and beyond the traditional store opening event,” said Kristen Naiman, Senior VP of brand creative at Kate Spade New York. “[Our brand] ethos is grounded in storytelling. Leveraging technology to invite Parisians to join in celebrating our arrival by exploring their city through the eyes of our brand felt very much us.”

The Store Of The Future?

Kate Spade New York created the experience in partnership with brandtech group You & Mr Jones as well as two companies from its portfolio, tech-focused influencer marketing company theAmplify and Zappar, an augmented reality specialist.

But it isn’t the retailer’s first foray into exploring how AR and connected technology can work together with traditional physical retail: Kate Spade New York previously created interactive, shoppable store barricades for its flagships in the US, and it also recently collaborated with Everpurse to create handbags embedded with iPhone charging capabilities and more.

It makes sense: As traditional retailers face store closures amidst competition from both Amazon and online-to-offline “e-tail” pioneers like Warby Parker, innovation is at a premium. For example, Rebecca Minkoff — which sells at a similar luxury price point to Kate Spade — launched its connected flagship stores back in early 2015.

The connected stores feature smart walls that suggest new styles when customers enter the space, smart mirrors in dressing rooms that allow shoppers to browse for other sizes or save their shopping activity for the future, and more.

It’s all about asking “‘what will the store of the future be?’ How could we take the best of the ecommerce experience and bring it into the store?” Uri Minkoff explained in a panel discussion. “What are the human elements that were uncomfortable shopping in store that [can be solved] online?”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.